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White House threatens veto of GOP-backed one-week funding bill

From NBC's Mike Viqueira, Luke Russert and Carrie Dann
This morning, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said that a House-proposed one-week extension of government funding -- which contains long-term funding for the Defense Department, deep cuts to other spending measures, and a provision preventing the use of D.C. city taxes for abortion services -- is "a nonstarter" in the Senate.

The White House just confirmed that it's a nonstarter at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue as well.

In a "Statement of Administration Policy," the White House said that it will veto the one-week measure if it passes in Congress, saying that the stopgap measure is "a distraction" from a long-term solution to the budget impasse.

"This bill is a distraction from the real work that would bring us closer to a reasonable compromise for funding the remainder of Fiscal Year 2011 and avert a disruptive Federal Government shutdown that would put the Nation's economic recovery in jeopardy," the statement reads.

*** UPDATE: *** As expected, the House passed the one-week measure at about 2:30 pm ET. The vote was 247-181.

The statement noted that the administration would accept a "clean" short-term measure (one that does not change the status quo of the past short-term funding bill) while negotiations continue, but, if presented with the GOP-led one-week measure, "the President will veto it."

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor responded to the veto threat in a statement, highlighting that, unless a Pentagon funding bill is passed before Friday, paychecks to members of the armed services would be delayed.

"To be clear, if the President vetoes this bill and shuts the government down, our men and women in uniform serving in Afghanistan, Iraq, and around the world will not be paid," Cantor said. "Our troops must be paid, our country is broke, and we are committed to fixing that. I urge the President revisit his decision and work with us."